Athlete of Week: Spaziani finds home at St. James

sjsoft-spazpitchWhen Shelby Spaziani moved from New Jersey to the Grand Strand in her junior year, she didn’t know what to expect from her new school and softball program. One year later, the St. James senior feels right at home at St. James High and on the mound for the Lady Sharks.

“It was tough leaving New Jersey because I grew up there and for 15 years I had the same group of friends and teammates,” said Spaziani, who was voted the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week. “But Coach (Adam) Jones and the team helped me a lot. The first day they called a team meeting and welcomed me to the team. They really took me under their wings.”

Spaziani is returning the favor, using her hard-throwing right wing to help the Lady Seahawks to a hot start to the season. After serving as a backup pitcher last year while serving primarily as an infielder, Spaziani has inherited the role of No. 1 starting pitcher this year while still helping the team out at the plate. She pitched three shutouts and hit two homer for St. James in the first week of the season.

“Up until this year I really didn’t like pitching because there’s a lot of attention and pressure,” Spaziani said. “Now I want the ball. Let’s go get them. I definitely feel more comfortable on the mound this year now that I’m starting every game. Last year I mainly played third and second (bases) and pitched some, but now I love pitching and hitting and helping my team any way I can. I’m a senior so I’m trying to lead by example.”

Spaziani’s efforts have the Lady Sharks in the hunt for another region title and their goals set for bigger things in 2016. Spaziani, who made her official visit to Coppin State this week and hopes to sign with the Baltimore-based school in April, will return home in time to lead her team against Region 7-3A rival Myrtle Beach on Tuesday, and hopefully well beyond.

“This is my last year so I hope we can make it pertty far,” Spaziani said. “We have a young team but everybody is stepping up to plate and coming together as a team a lot better than last year. We have a lot of talent if we can just put it all together.”

Fortunately for the Lady Sharks, they have a good leader on the mound who has shown she knows how to make big adjustments.

Photo by Prep Stars Media

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